NEW Story: Drip
Outside of the cities, sensory pleasure can be enriched by Vekllei’s oldest organism, if you know where to look. The temperate rainforest is alive, and breathing, and smells cold in its freshness. The perfume of the rainforest is earthy and chilled, swirling in a cocktail of fresh water, rich, damp soil and the scents of thick mosses and browning leaves. Out here, only water and the trees move — these sounds are the domain of spirits.
Even bird calls seem foreign here, as though the plovers and crows had been invited by the same mossbound instinct Tzipora shared. Pushing deeper into the rainforest, the risks become greater but the chance of meeting spirits swells. You are a guest, you are a guest — she keeps this in mind if she has any sense. The spirits tolerate breakage but they won’t tolerate disrespect.
Much as the birds nest and feed, Tzipora is welcomed by the spirits to establish a presence in the rainforest. Taking a seat on the soft floor of the forest, she opens her textbook and reads slowly.
Don’t wear a jacket — the cool air is good for the skin. Breathe deep — the perfume is good for the lungs. Open your senses to the peripheral stimuli of the spirit-forest, and don’t overthink it. Enjoy the sound of wind moving through the ceiling around you, and the freshwater creek that trickles sweetly. This is a good-natured place, so be good-natured.
Tzipora closes her textbook and lies in the moss, listening for spirits. They’re all around her. They talk to her through the sounds of the forest. If she can fill her soul with good things, they might reveal themselves to her one day. Until then, she meets them as a guest and an admirer, and gives thanks in her heart for their continued stewardship of this place.